An official of Pakistan Railways said on Saturday that train coaches purchased from China are perfectly compatible with the local track and have been certified for a commercial run following the initial trial at one of the country’s quickest tracks.
According to Muhammad Hanif Gul, Divisional Superintendent of the Lahore division at the Pakistan Railways, it is standard procedure to test any new induction in the railways before putting it into commercial operations. He added that the same practise had been used with the coaches imported from China, and they had successfully passed the trials.
“These are very good coaches with some enhanced features, the ergonomics are very good, technology is very good and when we use them in train services, people of Pakistan will have a very good experience,” Gul said in an interview with Xinhua news agency. From the contract to acquire 230 coaches from China, the first batch of 46 coaches arrived in Pakistan at the end of last November and are currently parked in Lahore and are expected to start operations in the coming weeks.
The remaining coaches will be constructed in Pakistan with China’s technical support in accordance with the technology transfer agreement, enhancing Pakistan’s capacity to make trains on its own. He added that Pakistan gave a list of criteria in accordance with local regulations, and the track and the trains were suitably developed. The coaches were purchased through open bidding, in which the Chinese company was chosen over all others from other countries, Gul said.
According to him, they are quite comfortable, have good seat width that matches the anthropometric analysis of Pakistan’s population, and include an onboard washroom facility for passengers with mobility issues, which is a novel feature in Pakistan’s railway system.